Tuesday Morning This & That: Open Thread

Posted on 28 Sep 2010 at 6:44am

It’s an open thread! Pleeeeease feel free to chat, blogwhore, and link-share in the comment thread… Emoticon: Autumn Sandeen, snarkily shifting her eyes right-to-left-to-right

Image: Bookworm Bob, the cartoon 'sockpuppet' of Autumn Sandeen'sSo, this is what my cartoon sockpuppet Bookworm Bob have been looking at since our last This & That post.

Los Angeles TimesAfter 121years, the Rose Parade changes its name, sells corporate sponsorship:

After 121 years, the Tournament of Roses Parade is changing it name.

As part of a new sponsorship deal with Honda, the 2011 parade officially will be known as the 122nd Rose Parade, Presented by Honda.

Parade officials stressed that there will be no major changes in the parade itself and noted that Honda had a long associate with the event.

“Welcoming Honda as Presenting Sponsor of the 2011 Rose Parade is an organic evolution of our long-standing partnership,” said Pasadena Tournament of Roses President Jeffrey L. Throop in a statement. “For five decades, we have worked side-by-side with Honda to develop the Rose Parade into what it is today, and we are proud Honda is such a significant member of the Tournament family…

Emoticon: Thumbs downAs a Southern Californian, let me give my personal thumbs down to this selling of corporate sponsorship.Emoticon: Angry Woman With Rolling Pin This parade is an iconic parade in California — for once, can we have an event without brazen corporate sponsorship? A big **booooo!** to the Pasadena Tournament of Roses organization for doing this.

Transgender Law Center‘s California Governor Vetoes Crucial LGBT Prisoner Safety Bill; Bill sought to expand protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender prisoners:

Sacramento: Last Friday, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Prisoner Safety Act, AB 633, on the grounds that the bill was too similar to a prisoner safety bill he vetoed last year. Introduced by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), the bill was designed to prevent violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and especially transgender people in the state prison system. The bill received bipartisan support in both the State Senate and Assembly and is co-sponsored by Equality California, the Transgender Law Center and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Thumbnail link: Transgender Law Center's Press Release, entitled 'California Governor Vetoes Crucial LGBT Prisoner Safety Bill'“The governor’s reluctance to codify vital protections for LGBT prisoners into state law is truly heart-breaking,” said Equality California Executive Director Geoff Kors. “This bill was, in fact, different from the LGBT prisoner safety bill we sponsored last year in that it would have required the state to adopt national LGBT prisoner safety guidelines. The legislation would have been an important tool in preventing violence against LGBT prisoners and ensuring that they have access to the same safeguards under the law as other inmates. Despite this setback, we will work on administrative reform and will continue to partner with Assemblymember Ammiano to bring legislation next year when we have a new governor to ensure that similar legislation is passed and signed into law.”

According to a study by UC Irvine commissioned by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, 69 percent of transgender inmates report sexual victimization while incarcerated.

“By vetoing AB 633, Governor Schwarzenegger has yet again neglected to help alleviate violence in California prisons,” said Masen Davis, Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center. “Transgender people are thirteen times more likely to be sexually assaulted in prison than non-transgender inmates. The National Prisoner Rape Elimination Commission Standards are well-researched, practical and promising.  It is shameful that implementation of these standards has been further delayed.”

AB 633 promotes safety for and prevents assaults against LGBT people in the prison system by amending the Sexual Abuse in Detention Elimination Act (SADEA) of 2005. The bill would have included information provided by inmates regarding their own safety concerns related to sexual orientation and gender identity on the list of factors for consideration when assessing whether inmates were at a heightened risk for assault. The list of current factors includes, age, type of offense and prior time served.

“I am extremely disappointed that the governor chose not to protect and empower one of the most vulnerable groups in the state’s penal system,” said Bamby Salcedo, President of the Trans-Latina/o Coalition. “As someone who has been through the California penal system, I experienced firsthand the injustices that transgender prisoners face. My life was constantly endangered, I was harassed by other inmates and I was even a victim of sexual assault. This bill would have gone a long way in preventing LGBT inmates from experiencing the abuse I faced.”  

In addition, the legislation would have: required the state to adopt a portion of the National Prisoner Rape Elimination Commission Standards, designed to safeguard LGBT inmates; required the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to not automatically segregate LGBT inmates, treatment considered to be punitive; and safeguarded LGBT inmates from having to disclose their sexual orientation or gender identify to prison officials. The bill would have also saved the state money due to decreased litigation and healthcare expenses.

The legislation originally developed following a Senate Public Safety Committee meeting that was chaired by Senator and former Majority Leader Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles). Held in San Francisco in December 2008 and sponsored by Equality California, the Transgender Law Center, Just Detention International, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Transgender, Gender Variant & Intersex Justice Project, the meeting exposed the dire issues facing LGBT people in California prisons in order to produce concrete solutions.

To find out more information about EQCA’s legislation, visit http://www.eqca.org/legislation.

About TLC

The Transgender Law Center (TLC) is a civil rights organization advocating for transgender communities. TLC uses direct legal services, education, community organizing and advocacy to transform California into a state that recognizes and supports the needs of transgender people and their families. www.transgenderlawcenter.org

I know, from recently being arrested, how vulnerable transgender people are in government custody. Gov. Schwarzenegger should feel ashamed for his veto, but he probably doesn’t.

If this bill were the only reason to vote for the Democratic candidate for Governor, Attorney General Jerry Brown, then that would for me be reason enough.  

Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center‘s L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Responds to CDC Study; Revealing Alarming HIV Rate in Urban Gay Men:

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 27, 2010– In recognition of National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Chief of Staff Darrel Cummings issued the following statement:

Thumbnail link: Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center Media Release, Entitled 'L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Responds to CDC Study'“Today is National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a day meant to raise awareness among gay and bisexual men about the ongoing HIV/AIDS crisis.

Of course, most of us are keenly aware of the devastating impact HIV/AIDS has had on our community. What many don’t realize, though, is the magnitude of the problem.

Gay and bisexual men account for 70% of new HIV infections in California and over 50% nationally. And a sobering report just released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) revealed that, in 21 major U.S. cities, one out of every five gay and bisexual men was HIV positive–and nearly half of those did not know they were positive prior to taking part in the study. The data is even more alarming for African-American and young gay and bisexual men. While the infection rate has declined among all other risk groups, the rate among men in our community has continued to climb.

This new research further underlines the need for Pres. Barack Obama’s administration to adequately fund and effectively implement the National HIV/AIDS strategy, which the White House unveiled in July. We call on the president and Congress to truly make combating HIV a priority.”…

If HIV/AIDS is not a gay disease, then it is definitely a medical condition that notably impacts the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

San Francisco Chronicle‘s School robs teen of homecoming king title:

Oakleigh Reed received the most votes for homecoming king at Mona Shores High School in Muskegon, Mich.

The transgender teen, who friends call “Oak,” let the school community know he was running for homecoming king on Facebook.

The honors student quickly became the leading candidate.

But then last Monday the principal called the 17-year-old into her office.

“They told me that they took me off because they had to invalidate all of my votes because I’m enrolled at Mona Shores as a female,” Oakleigh told Wood TV.

Teachers use him, his, and he when referring to Oakleigh in class. The school has allowed him to wear a tuxedo when marching with the band at football games and he has been given permission to wear the male robe and cap at graduation.

But the district feels the homecoming race is different. Assistant Superintendent Todd Geerlings told Wood TV, “The ballots gave two choices — vote for a boy for king and a girl for queen.” …

Sadly, Oak can probably look at more discrimination in his future. In most of the United States, one’s gender identity and expression isn’t protected; transgender people in many states aren’t considered to be part of any protected class.

• Our Wiener Story Of The Day: The Augusta Chronicle‘s New toilet saves water, company says:

Ryan Barnes has plenty of faith in today’s low-flow toilets.

Image: Wiener World, a restaurant in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; Link To Pam's House Blend Tag 'Wieners'To demonstrate, he piled 16 golf balls into a model known as the Cadet 3 Flowise and pushed the lever. Faster than you can say “fore,” they all disappeared.

…The goal of the tour is to show how an average four-person household can reduce annual water consumption by 48,326 gallons simply by upgrades to water-saving fixtures.

Toilets, in particular, have come a long way, due to redesigned traps and flush valves that compensate for less water. Field testers, he added, use material as varied as miso paste and hot dogs to evaluate flushability and performance.

“American Standard has invested a lot of time-and technology,” he said, noting that 75 percent of household water consumption is bathroom-related…

As always, “The weenie tempts you!” — even when being flushed down the toilet! Emoticon: Rolling on the floor laughing

So anywho…It’s an open thread! What are you thinking about today, or what books or articles have you been reading the past few days? Wanna share?

And again, please feel free to chat, blogwhore, and link-share in the comment thread because…it’s an open thread! Woo-hoo! Emoticon: Dancing happy face character  
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